The ARCs are out!

The ARC in question being an advance reading copy of this little tome:

the twentieth Kate Shugak novel

Traditionally, ARCs go to book reviewers and bookstore owners in hopes they will like the book enough to recommend it to reviewers and readers so as to pump up pre-orders and, you guessed it, sales.

We here at (AKA me and the mouse in my pocket) think “twenty” is a pretty significant number. In recognition that Kate and Mutt made it this far…

…we’re giving away three free ARCs to three deserving Danamaniacs!

But you gotta work for it. In the comments section below, tell me why we should send YOU your very own advance reading copy of the twentieth Kate Shugak novel. You’re headed off to the wilds of Borneo on February 25th, where they don’t have internet access and you won’t be able to download your copy for months? Your family has declared a moratorium on recreational reading beginning January 1st and you have to cram all your must reading in before New Year’s Day? You have divinely intuited that you’ll be struck blind and deaf the day before Bad Blood publishes?

The smarter, the funnier, the more creative you get,
the better your chance is of winning.

You’ve got twenty-four hours, one planetary day, one seventh of a week to:

  1. Tell me why you deserve your own ARC in the comments section below. And then
  2. Share this page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Goodreads, CafeMom, wherever you hang out on line.

That’s it. That’s all you have to do: tell me why you want an ARC, and share this page on your social network.

And then wait while I agonize over your entries. Winners will be announced on Thursday, November 15th, here on

Tell me why!

Alert, rrrr-RRRRRRRRR-rrrrrr, ah-OOOOOO-gah:

Contest ends tomorrow at 1am AST/5am EST,at which time comments will be turned off.

87 thoughts on “The ARCs are out!

  1. Suzan Hawkins says:

    My birthday is the 20th. What could be a better birthday present than to get time to spend with my favorite people ? I like my cat mysteries, but love my Mutt mysteries.


  2. Jodi Darby says:

    I am the *least* deserving to win the ARC of Bad Blood as I am currently on Kauai and will be here for four months looking to buy a place for future winters–not that winters are bad where I live as a tiny bit of snow may dust the mountains around my home valley but mostly it’s just cool and, while there’s usually some rain in January-March, it’s mostly dry/ sunny/pleasant; but as you can see, I have written the longest single sentence of these contest entries (which I could easily have made longer by padding with additional adjectives and adverbs but resisted as that could be construed as cheating and I’m very honest {which honesty would prevent me from issuing any gloating spoilers were I able to read Bad Blood in advance}).


  3. Tammielyn says:

    I started this series only last year. A little late, I know, but it’s been well worth waiting for. I’ve been rationing each book so I’d be up to date for February’s release of Bad Blood. Unfortunately, I didn’t take into considering the addictiveness of this series, and have only been able to read one book in between them before I start jonesing for another Kate book. So I think I should get an advanced copy so I don’t end up in a reader rehab somewhere, X-ing out the days until Bad Blood comes out. I won’t even let myself think about how bad it’s going to be waiting for the next book after Bad Blood to be written. I may have to start reading the series all over again just to feed my habit.


  4. Katrina Lawrence says:

    I can think of many reasons why I deserve an advanced copy of your latest book. As someone who lives in dreary old England it is my window into Alaska and as I cannot afford to visit it will keep me going until I have the plane fare. Being your number one cheerleader in the UK I will be able to reccomend it to all my fellow mystery fans and before you know it you will have a number one best seller over here. It will keep me entertained on the long bus journey I have too and from work every day. And the best reason, if you give me a free copy I may forgive you for killing off Dandy Mike. Seriously though, I would love a free copy and will give you a gazzilion star review on Amazon UK


  5. Susan Wassenhove says:

    While I am a huge fan and love that you can transport me back to Alaska in a nanosecond I really think it’s my mother who deserves to win.

    My mom is an amazing woman and at 85 years old just retired from working at Notre Dame University and she owns and runs the bar she inherited from her mother (who owned and ran it from 1924 until she was 90 and who inducted into the Bartender Hall of Fame! ). My mother has turned this little neighborhood bar into a great blues bar that draws bands from all over the country.

    My mom has had a bad year. Last november she was diagnosed with colon cancer (yep, has worked through it all), and has been going through chemo this year. She unexpectedly lost her son who died unexpectedly. He was 2 weeks shy of his 50th birthday. She is now due
    for one year follow up colonoscopy and PET scan as well as a hernia repair (the hernia is from her colon surgery). Her stress level is high and I think the escapism that your latest book would be a great thing for her!

    My mom came to visit me when I lived in Sitka back in the 90s so did get a a small view of Alaska. Winning the ARC would give her another Alaskan vacation without the hassle of flying from the Midwest!

    Thanks for all your hard work Dana.


  6. Lynda in Glen Rose TX says:

    I wish I could say something funny or cute but the truth is Liam, Wy, Star and Kate are helping me through a really rough spot in my life’s journey right now. We discussed this on FB earlier, Dana. A sneak peek at the new novel would be a true gift right now. Thanks for considering me.


  7. I would love to have a copy of the book early. No fancy reason just like the idea of meeting an old friend earlier than expected. Kate and the community of friends and lovers that make up the Park are indeed friends.
    Winter in central Pa is usually gray, dank and raw. Sitting and reading a new Kate would make those bleak days move along a bit faster. Heck if I wait I wait and reread all the previous adventures from a Cold Day For Murder to
    Restless in the Grave and the stand alone thrillers too.


  8. Leslie Dalgleish says:

    Okay, here goes, again! (My internet connection is crappy in ice fog! Sometimes rural living ain’t what it’s cracked up to be!) Sorry, this isn’t funny either. But I mean it!

    I have loved books all my life. The first book I recall reading is “The Three Billy Goats Gruff, ” which had a red cloth cover that my younger brother had spilled milk on at some point. I shared the love of books mostly with my paternal Grandmother, who was always quoting poetry at us. She had a quote for everything. I also have always loved the North, the very idea of North, for as long as I can recall. The Yukon, Iceland, Baffin Island. It all counted for me. My Grandma gave me her copy of “The Complete Poems of Robert Service” – this was the book she taught me Sam McGee from. I was the only kid in Grade Six who already know that poem by heart when they got ’round to teaching it. “There are strange things done…” Well, you know it. Anyway, I read London and Mowat and anyone else I could find. I found Sue Henry and then I found you. I think I took all the Shugak I could find out of the library that day and I didn’t want to give them back.
    Kate’s world was familiar to me, not because I lived that kind of life but because of the stories my Grandmother told me about hers. Her Grandfather was an Indian Agent and her Grandmother, Metisse. My Grandmother used to visit them for the summer when she was small; her Grandpa had retired from his post then, and worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company at the Trading Post in Big Lake. She told me how bad the mosquitoes were and of the constant smell of woodsmoke. My Grandma used to play on the porch of the trading post and watch with fascination and trepidation when “the rough men” came out of the bush to trade their pelts for goods. She told me that although she was afraid, somehow she couldn’t look away. Her Grandmother would explain what the pelts were and how much they were worth, what they could be made into for some fine people far away.
    Unfortunately, like so many of her generation, my Grandmother found no room in her white world for any First Nations or Metis ancestry. Photographs and daguerreotypes were hidden, names were changed. My Great Great Grandmother Christabel Bear became Chris Bair , as if changing the spelling changed the truth, and my Great Grandmother miraculously the first white child born in her parish. My Grandmother tried to break our history. That is why I wish I could share Kate Shugak with her. She would have loved the stories absolutely – nothing like a good murder to speed the blood – but she would have been secretly (still) thrilled with Kate’s unflinching stare at the past in all its complexity because she looks hard but with understanding. Things should be uncovered and seen in the light, if only by one person. My Grandmother would have loved in Kate what she didn’t have herself, just like I do. Thank you for her, Dana.


  9. Geez…… do you compete with a sick mother. I feel bad about even writing compete and sick mother in the same sentence. The truth is I just want the next book as quickly as I can get it. I’m fairly certain the pages are dusted with some type of addictive drug because once I start reading one I cannot put it down. I’ll stay up 24 hours straight if that is what it takes to read Kate & Mutt’s adventures. On numerous occasions my family has threatened to send me to the Betty Ford Clinic for Kate Shugak addicts. Up to now I have been able to resist their efforts, but I feel the overwhelming need to read Kate rising up. The drooling & head twitching will be next. Please put an end to my family’s misery……


  10. KC Nordquist says:

    When I worked for a bookstore in downtown Seattle I would always recommend the latest Shugak novel from you with one of those cards that hangs down from the edge of the shelf that says “KC recommends!” I emailed you about that (some 15 years ago?) and you emailed back “You little enabler.” Yup, that’s me, I’m still recommending you everywhere and getting friends hooked on your books. If I got an ARC from you, OH BOY, I would sing your praises up and down the streets until people either would buy the book to shut me up or just start throwing things at me. Please please please with chocolate fudge sauce nuts and a cherry on top??


  11. Mollie R Burton says:

    I have loved Kate and Mutt for years! I love that I live in Alaska and can relate to several of her adventures. For instance, when she worked on a fishing boat. I live in Nikiski now but I am originally from Ketchikan in Southeast. I used to go out fishing with my dad, he had a handtroll permit. At the time I was young and did not like to be out on the boat by 4AM, Now, since both parents have passed. I have come to appreciate a lot of things that I was able to experience in my youth. I loved being able to go down the dirt road and pick berries right off the branches and eat them on the spot. We also ate salmon, seaweed, hooligans and fish eggs, Turns out all of that stuff is good for you. It is nice to have a good book to read when it is getting darker each day. Thanks for your consideration.


  12. Kaari says:

    This may not be very creative, but I am so broke that for the first time since Killing Grounds I couldn’t rush out and buy Restless in the Grave in hardback when it came out. Even though I got our local independent book seller here in Chicago to stock your books. (They did sell though!) I won’t be able to afford Bad Blood either, so getting an ARC would be the best thing to happen to me all year. (My upstairs neighbor bringing me half a case of Alaskan Winter Ale when she came back from Wisconsin last weekend is the current best thing.)

    I’m currently writing a story set in Juneau, where I grew up, and would love to read myself back into Alaska with a new Kate book.

    Amanda J, love the poem!


  13. Hmmm, maybe a spot of blackmail will work… I promise not to ransack your house when Canada invades as eluded to in a previous comments when I got all jealous over the signed copies you own. IF I win an ARC. 🙂


  14. Janice Strong says:

    I so want an ARC of Bad Blood because I am an impatient retiree in TN who has all the time I need to read and I need to have the next Kate Shugak book ahead of time because I am a needy person who will just bow down to your every wish if I could bow down and get back up, that is.


  15. Lyn Attreed says:

    I’m here to say that I do NOT want to receive a Bad Blood ARC copy! I’ve been a fan since Kate #3 was newly in paperback (I started reading with Kate #2, then #1 and #3), so I’ve had to wait each year until the next Kate or Liam was released. Much as I’d like to get an early copy of Kate #20, that will mean that I will have to wait even longer than most to read Kate #21 ;-(… That would be very, very bad!

    However, may I cast my vote to have Susan Wassenhove’s mother receive an ARC copy? She sounds Bill Billingham-ish and deserves an ARC to help her get though this wretched year. Thanks!


  16. I am 55. I have been reading all of my life, even before I started kindergarten, I don’t remember when I didn’t know how to read. The first book I remember reading was Greek mythology. I used to be able to name and describe all the Greek gods, and I also knew the Roman names. I remember seeing Truman Capote on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson when I was 8. My mom had In Cold Blood and so I read it. I remember my mom seeing me sitting on the floor and reading. Then she looked at the title of the book, gave me a look, and then left me alone. Reading the book when I was 8 paid off in my Documents and Literature of the American West class in college. I was the only person in my class who got the refence when we were reading a poem. Mom also gave me The Power of Positive Thinking by N.V. Peale when I was 14. On my own I read Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Trixie Beldon, Bobbsey Twins, and about 2,000 Scholastic Book Club books that my brothers and sister and I ordered through school. My mom always encouraged us to read! I read any and everything, but mysteries have always been my absolute favorite! We visited Alaska on a family vacation. My parents, my newly widowed grandmother, and 5 kids in a VW van. We drove from our home in Arizona, went to Yellowstone, to San Francisco and lunch in Chinatown for my brother’s birthday, up the Pacific Coast Highway to Kelsey Bay, where the stop sign was at the end of the dock. If you didn’t stop you drove into the Pacific. We spent Friday night in the only local hotel, with lots of noise from the guys in the bar who had just been paid. We were not allowed to leave the hotel room without an adult. The next day we took the auto ferry to Alaska. It was a memorable trip! I remember we picked up a guy by the ferry terminal on the Alaska side and gave him a ride. He told us kids that he was an Eskimo. We were very impressed and excited to meet him! It is a dream of mine to go back to Alaska with my husband. I have been reading your books for many years. I reserve books from my very favorite authors, to read at just the right time, like a snowy or rainy day. It is like a best reads savings account. I savor the knowledge that I still have the most recent Dana Stabenow to read, enjoy, experience, and treasure! Knowing I still have a book from my favorite author to read is like knowing Christmas is coming.


  17. Merril Dean says:

    February 25th is nearing the end of a LONG, LONG winter. As one of your fans who actually thinks that Kate may live south of where I actually live, the ability to access a new read at what, for most North Americans is the end of winter, but for me, is mid-winter would be a great plus.

    The ARC will see me through to some daylight and maybe, just maybe, the smell of spring on the wind. Please Dana, I travelled to Anchorage for a conference 6 years ago, and spent an extra day in town doing the “Kate” tour. I reread the books before I went and marked down all the ‘real’ places I could find and visited them. I’d love to be able to brag to my book club friends that I have an advance copy — and I’ll even take it in to the local indie bookstore, who always carries your books, to do an advance plug!


  18. doretta says:

    No point in sending me one because I’d just mail it to Susan Wassenhove’s mother–even though she’s surely going to win one already. I know when I’ve been topped before I begin.

    I’ve long since pre-ordered and will get it as soon as it is out. That will be soon enough because I have noticed that no matter when I get a new Kate I read it immediately and then I’ve already read it and I want the next one.


  19. Barbara says:

    I have all of your Kate books in one hard cover- between the covers of my Nook. In the year I’ve had my Nook, I’ve read the series twice. Once I start, I find myself compelled to read straight through. I’ve been thinking it would be nice to have one Kate story in a hard copy. It would also be nice not to have to wait until February to read #20. If you agree, I would be thrilled to be an early reader of Bad Blood!


  20. Yvonne Bledsoe says:

    How awesome to have an ARC of “Bad Blood’? I love Kate and Mutt and reading wonderful creative fiction from my favorite author… meanwhile -The snow storm rages on, obscurring the landscape. Inside I am safe and warm. The firewood is stacked high beside the house, the pantry is stocked with food and water and I am weathering the storm passing the time with my favorite books. Curled up by the fire, bundled in layers of thermal, while the snow falls outside I escape with Kate and Mutt in my ARC of ‘Bad Blood’ … and then I wake up! Just a dream? Do I have to wait until February? Agh-h-h-h!


  21. Glenda Booth says:

    I am in Australia and more often than not,I am unable to get all your wonderful Kate Shugak books and I have developed quite an addiction to them!
    I have read every single book I could lay my hands on but am still hunting down a few of your earlier ones.Am waiting with great anticipation for your newest as I cant wait to see what Kate and her fantastic companion Mutt get up to! Please feed my addiction and send me a preview copy of Bad Blood.


  22. Kelly Fine says:

    Why do I deserve an ARC? Why? Because c’mon Dana! It’s ME and I’m an awesome fan! And just in case I catch a bad case of “legendum necrotizing fasciitis” at the nursing home where I work causing me to lose all the important body parts needed to read…then for sure I need one! And ASAP if you don’t mind…things go in three’s (obviously since you are giving out 3 copies)…but we lost a resident at work today so the “3” cycle has started… :


  23. Susan Shain says:

    I first met Kate in 1992, I was looking for something to read, I was going to be in a body cast 12 weeks. Kate was different, and I hoped she would capture my imagination and take me away from it all. She was an amazing success. A Fatal Thaw was rehab goal for me in ’93, if I could walk to the book store without resting, the book was mine. I have been a fan all these years, eagerly waiting for the newest chapter in Kate and Mutt’s story. Kate and Liam have been there while I assisted my parents’ during their final illnesses (Break Up- is an all time fave.) and when I grabbed a plane south to meet my beautiful niece (A Fine and Bitter Snow). An ARC copy of Bad Blood would be an incredible holiday gift… and this year , well, we need a little Christmas, early.


  24. Ricki Rickard says:

    It would be really nice to have the ARC of Kate #20. I have been waiting on pins and needles for February ( the pins and needles really hurt) and holding my breath on top of that(hope I don’t pass out and fall on the pins and needles as that would really hurt). Actually I would be really honored to win the ARC from one of my favorite authors.


  25. Kari says:

    Even though I lived on the Kenai Peninsula instead of “up north” I still love to absorb myself in Kate’s adventures with Mutt and Jim and the rest of the crew. Being able to “put myself” in some of the places Kate has been (since I’ve travelled around Alaska a little bit) makes the stories come so alive. I can’t wait to read Bad Blood. PS – I’m not only a FOM (friend of Mutt) but a HUGE fan too 🙂


  26. I would really love to read “Bad Blood” early because I gobble up Kate and Mutt books as fast as I can read them.. that being said, I don’t retain the details for long, and I need extra time to re-read them several times to savor them and imagine myself as a Park rat. Kate and Mutt books are the only books I keep these days because I know I will enjoying re-reading them.


  27. Your ARC will heal my wounds. I can only write about this in the third person. Here goes.

    In the early 1990s a young redhead from California decided she wanted to relocate to Fairbanks, enroll in the Criminal Justice program there, and become a State Trooper.

    Things didn’t quite work out. She …

    … caught her outhouse on fire.
    … got stuck under the eaves of her cabin.
    … rolled off the roof and got stuck in five feet of snow.
    … dropped out of school and forfeited her tuition.
    … read every “Hank the Cowdog” book at Gulliver’s Books.
    … got fat consuming stupid amounts of Hotlick’s ice-cream.
    … tried soy milk for the first time and became addicted.
    … hasn’t stopped farting because of the soy milk.
    … got scared by a giant city snowplow and rode her bike into a ditch.

    { and }

    … stupidly wore her face mask into a bank and got detained by a cop.

    She’s pretty certain she’s the reason people started putting “Don’t Californicate Alaska” bumper stickers on their cars. For some reason they started doing the same thing when she relocated to southern Oregon some years later.

    Okay, already feeling a tad bit better. Thanks.


  28. Karen Kilpatrick says:

    I have read every Kate Shugak book since July, when a friend recommended them since my husband and I were going to take our first trip to
    Alaska. I feel like I am Kate Shugak
    Now I can’t wait until the next book comes out. I have read the first two Liam Cambell and will start the next one tonight. In serious Kate withdrawals.


  29. Susan says:

    Why me? I lived in Alaska during the rainiest summr, snowiest winter, and most consecutive days of precipitation. I now am starting my first desert winter. Please take me back to Alaska through Kate #20 — so I can enjoy what is beautiful about it without punishing my many rheumatic joints. Kate and Mutt got me through many rough winters (both physically and weather wise) — they should get to celebrate this one with me. 🙂


  30. Kathleen says:

    My maternal grandparents were born in Alaska, and lived there into the late nineteen-teens. My maternal grandmother was the first white baby born in the Yukon after the Klondyke gold rush. Her parents met on the Chilkoot Pass.
    The Kate Shugak series has been one way for me to come closer to a sense of place for their time in Alaska. I’ve only been up to AK a couple of times, but thanks to your books. it feels a lot like home.


  31. Bridget says:

    I’ll read it while entertaining my jumpy little terrier, standing at the foot of the stairs, tossing a little ball for the wiggling creature to chase up the stairs and down innumerable times.


  32. CJ Barwin says:

    Help! I’m stranded in the desert of Tucson – the exact opposite of Kate’s Alaska. I need to know that there’s more to life than sand and saguaros and sun. Plus, Mutt could help teach my dog a thing or two 🙂


  33. Barbara Cooper says:

    Dana, my name is Kate Shugak – although I am undercover in the UK at present, please don’t drop me in it or the Luton Mafia will be hunting me down. You may remember way back in the 1990’s we met at a Costa’s in Anchorage. You were on a dirty weekend to Anchorage with that guy … what was his name again?? I was working at the DA’s office at the time and had just come for a coffee fix and obviously you fell for Mutt – they all do.

    Anyway, I need an advance copy of the book to see what you have me doing this time – I mean Tai Chi? Are you serious? I work my butt off in the Bush, go fishing on the worst boat in existence and nearly end up as frozen bait, fill my cache only to have bears knock the damned thing down, get beaten up, shot at, throat slashed and my ass frozen…. and then you have me sweating in a Gee?? Seriously my street cred took a dive with that one and I NEED to know what I have to worn Jim about before the guys at the Roadhouse read it. Do me a favour? Send me one the of the advance copies? Thanks and say hi to what’s his name.
    Kate (aka Barb)


  34. I have been selected to join the intergalactic expedition to Ursa Major II. Signs of intelligent life have been detected on the OberonTitan corps and part of our mission is to make contact and exchange scientific and cultural knowledge. We are set for blast-off on January 3, 2013 at 0500. Having an advanced copy of Bad Blood would of course contribute to my personal enjoyment but would also allow me to share the complete set of Kate Shugak books with not only my fellow expedition members (which will surely raise my esteem in their eyes) but also with the members of whatever alien civilization we encounter. Of course, this is a top-secret, privately funded endeavor and I am counting on your discretion.


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